Fairs and medieval markets in Galicia

During the summer months tourists can enjoy in Galicia a full agenda of activities with festivals of all kinds.

On the one hand we have the gastronomic festivals where seafood, wine and local products are the real protagonists. Then there are the religious festivals in which tribute is paid to the saints of a region. And, finally, there are the celebrations of historical or cultural character that gather a good part of the Galician traditions and folklore. Among them are the medieval-themed festivals, each with its own particularities. They are a must for lovers of handicrafts and typical Galician cuisine. Some of the most popular are held in towns such as Noia, Betanzos, Ribadavia, Verín and La Coruña.

  • Betanzos Medieval Fair: held the second weekend of July with theatrical performances about the history of Betanzos, a city that became the capital of the ancient kingdom of Galicia. The streets are decorated with banners, dozens of stalls for artisans and outdoor activities and performances are organized, such as the burning of the witch, medieval tournaments with fighting warriors on horseback, exhibitions of falconry or archery and representations of legendary events.
  • Medieval market of Coruña: it takes place in the streets of the Old City of La Coruña, within the program of the festivities of María Pita in the second half of July. The festival commemorates the history of La Coruña and the founding of the town in 1208 and the Royal Order that in 1503 granted La Coruña the celebration of an Annual Fair of 30 days, to be held between July 15 and August 15, “between the walls”, as stated in the decree. The Medieval Fair of Coruña gathers around 200 craft stalls where products made of leather, wood or silver are exhibited, without forgetting the handmade cosmetics and perfumes. We can also find food stalls with various products such as sausages, cheeses, filloas or medieval pastries. All this enlivened by street performances, musical and all kinds that move us to the atmosphere of an authentic market of the Middle Ages.
  • Noia Medieval Fair: every year in the second half of July, the town of Noia celebrates its medieval fair. The streets and squares of the old town are filled with craft and food stalls. There is also music and entertainment by minstrels, jesters, jugglers … and activities for the public of all ages such as falconry exhibitions, knights tournament, parades, concerts of medieval music and live workshops.

  • Medieval market of Mondoñedo (Lugo): it is held every year during the second weekend of August in the Cathedral Square and in the main streets of the historic center. Gastronomy is one of the strong points of this medieval market. Tastings of products are common and the festival culminates with a medieval dinner. There are also many craft stalls of pottery, wrought iron, saddlery or leather.
  • Festa da Istoria in Ribadavia (Orense): it takes place at the end of August and takes us back to the times of the medieval Jewish quarter, recovering traditions that are part of the history of the region. It is undoubtedly one of the best festivals in Galicia. It involves all the residents of Ribadavia and has an extensive program of events that includes: medieval dinners, dances, simulation of a Jewish wedding, falconry, theater, archery, living chess, the parade through the main streets of the city and the famous fight between knights. The festival ends with the famous Medieval Dinner in the castle, where it is essential to come dressed in period costume.

In our article today we have mentioned only some of the medieval-themed festivals that we can visit if we travel to Galicia in summer. But if you already know this land, you may have heard some other reference about similar celebrations. We encourage you to share your doubts and experiences with us.

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